When we cruised into the anchorage right outside the main harbor in St. Thomas we had a feeling we would be seeing some boat traffic. We followed two cruise ships in and then watched one come in after us, so in just a few short hours we had seen quite a bit of big boat traffic. We were far enough from the channel that we didn’t really get wake from the boats, but every once in a while there would be one or two that would zip in and out outside the channel markers and send us rocking.
There was also a shuttle boat from a resort that was located just off the starboard bow from where we were anchored, so that boat sent us for a ride multiple times a day. On our second day in St. Thomas we decided to up anchor and search for a spot with a nicer beach and less boat traffic so the stay would be a bit smoother. We ended up motoring about an hour around Water Island to scope out a more protected and less traveled anchorage, but when we arrived we were overwhelmed by the number of boats that were already anchored there. We tried once to anchor, and our anchor didn’t grab well enough for us to be comfortable around all the other boats so we decided to just head back to our original spot. It may have been a bit bumpy but we were much more comfortable there because there were fewer boats around and our anchor was grabbing well!
After we had dropped anchor again and it grabbed well we were content with hanging in this spot for a few days until I was scheduled to fly out to the states to visit family for the holidays.
We have been out cruising on our sailboat for just over a year now and we have never in our time as live aboard cruisers seen so much boat traffic! We cruised the Bahamas for almost 5 months last winter and the boat traffic doesn’t compare to what we saw on our first few days in St. Thomas.
We followed two cruise ships in to the harbor the morning we arrived, and then another one that same afternoon. This was more cruise ships than we had seen at one time and we were amazed that they were all there at one time! And with the cruise ships come the people and we were blown away by the number of people who do day charters! Each day there was at least one cruise ship in port in St. Thomas and each day we would see 10-15 catamarans going in and out of the harbor. Packed with people, we could only assume that these were day charters that would take people out to snorkel or just cruise for the morning or afternoon. There would always be one round of boats in and out in the morning and another round of boats in and out in the afternoon. And then there would be the mass exodus of the cruise ships right after sunset. In addition there were at least one or two 100+ foot mega yachts that transited in and out of the harbor on the daily. We were just in awe of the luxurious yachts as we sat aboard our little 38 foot catamaran. We simply couldn’t believe the amount of boats that we saw in and out on the daily!